James Mastin, Business Development; and Bryan Asa, Sales Manager at PowerHub share insights after attending RE+ Community Energy Conference 2024.
The RE+ Community Energy Conference highlighted the significant growth and transformation of community solar, focusing on storage integration, expansion in diverse states, data flow optimization, billing practices, compliance automation, tax equity, and the need for American-made components.
This January, the RE+ Community Energy Conference in San Diego brought together industry leaders, utilities, non-profits, and policymakers for an in-depth exploration of the latest trends and policies in the community energy sector.
PowerHub team members James Mastin and Bryan Asa, who exhibited at the conference, share their insights in today’s blog. The key takeaways from this event reveal that community solar (CS) is experiencing a significant rise and transformation across the United States.
CS Storage Takes Center Stage
A prominent theme at the conference was the increasing role of energy storage in community solar projects. With more than 75% of new solar installations in the USA now including storage, this trend is reshaping the clean energy economy’s landscape. Community solar is also embracing this shift, demonstrating the industry’s commitment to integrating innovative storage solutions for enhanced reliability and flexibility.
Community Solar Expansion in Unexpected Places
The conference highlighted the geographical expansion of community solar projects into traditionally less progressive states. Local legislation is fueling the push for wider community solar access, with states like Ohio and Washington set to join the ranks soon. This expansion signifies the growing bipartisan support for community solar initiatives.
Data Flow Challenges and Opportunities
Efficient data flow was identified as a critical issue at the conference. Industry players, including Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and utilities, are actively seeking ways to streamline data processing. Events like GridTECH are focused on tackling this challenge, underlining the importance of seamless data flow in optimizing community solar operations.
Consolidated Billing’s Volatile Expansion
Despite facing challenges, the expansion of consolidated billing, especially in New Jersey, marks a positive development for the community solar sector. While uncertainties remain, this advancement is likely to continue, promising a more streamlined and favorable billing process for utilities and consumers alike.
Automation of Compliance: A Critical Need
The conference repeatedly emphasized the need for automating compliance processes within the community solar sector. The complexities due to unexpected obligations and communication gaps between utilities and IPPs call for a robust automated system to ensure compliance with regulations.
Tax Equity and the Focus on American-Made Components
In the realm of tax equity, community solar is increasingly significant, especially for specialists in Individual Retirement Account (IRA) investments. The sector’s focus on low-income off-takers offers substantial tax credits. However, there is a growing demand for American-made components using domestic materials to maximize these credits. This demand, coupled with a shortage of developers specializing in community solar, presents a challenge in meeting increasing demand.
Preparing for the Future of Community Solar: A Guide for Asset Managers
Asset managers must strengthen their operations to capitalize on the industry’s massive growth. Utilizing robust software solutions like PowerHub’s community solar tool positions them to seize community solar opportunities.
PowerHub’s tool facilitates streamlined invoicing, subscriber management, and improved communication through a centralized platform. Its impressive analytics feature provides insightful reporting and fosters data-driven decision-making. With personalized dashboards and self-service options, PowerHub enhances user experience, preparing community solar portfolios for optimal performance in an industry poised for substantial growth.
The RE+ Community Energy Conference has shed light on the evolving landscape of community solar, highlighting its expansion into new regions and the industry’s dedication to innovation and sustainability. As we address the challenges and seize the opportunities outlined at this event, it’s clear that community solar is not just a trend but a dynamic force shaping the future of the clean energy economy.
Are you ready to ride the wave of massive growth in the community solar sector? PowerHub is here to help you scale.